The $200 barrier for a walk-up ski lift ticket was broken for the first time by Vail Mountain and Beaver Creek this season, according to industry sources.
Vail and Beaver Creek are charging $209 per day for a walk-up window ticket, according to their website. The price is reduced to $199 if purchased online.
Aspen Skiing Co. is charging $179 for a walk-up window price. If a skier or snowboarder has an existing card that the ticket can be added to, there is no extra charge. If a new card is required, that’s another $5. Skico’s price applies at Aspen Mountain, Aspen Highlands, Snowmass and Buttermilk.
When asked for comment on the pricing this season, Vail Resorts released a statement that began: “We reward guests for their loyalty and for committing to a winter vacation with us well in advance through programs like our season passes, advance lift ticket purchase, and lodging specials. Much like buying an airline ticket, most guests purchase EpicDay Lift Tickets in advance, which provides them with the best available rate.”
Deer Valley is topping Aspen this week with a ticket price of $180. Squaw Valley is at $179. Both of those resorts are owned and operated by Alterra Mountain Co., which is a sister company to Aspen. The Crown family of Chicago, 100 percent owners of Skico, holds a stake in Alterra.
Breckenridge, which is part of the Vail Resorts empire, is charging $189 per day at the window and $179 if purchased online.
All resorts offer discounts for multi-day tickets that are purchased in advance. Season passes also drastically reduce the cash outlay per outing.
Vail Resorts and Alterra Mountain Co. are engaged in a season pass war designed to win over customers by providing access to multiple resorts. Alterra’s full Ikon Pass includes up to seven trips to the Aspen-Snowmass slopes. Vail charged $949 for its Epic Pass and Alterra’s charged $899 for its full Ikon Pass at the earliest deadline.
Season passes accounted for about 43 percent of skier and snowboarder visits last season, according to National Ski Areas Association, a ski industry trade group. That figure is expected to increase as the pass war heats up.